Erica L. Upshaw-Givner
Erica L. Upshaw-Givner, LCSW has been involved within the field of social services and humanities for the past ten years. Graduating for the University of Pittsburgh with a Master’s of Social Work in 2007. A “Jill of Many Trades,” projects ranging from Addiction Specialist at Tadiso to a Social Worker with our veterans at Pittsburgh Veteran’s Affairs. In the past she has been President of Madison School PTA, a board member for her local YWCA, a school bus driver and delivered your local newspaper in the wee hours of the morning. Mrs. Upshaw-Givner is familiar with the practice of hard work.She remains committed to fostering new growth by providing supervision for beginning social workers to sit for their licensure exams. Mrs. Upshaw-Givner has worked diligently within the realms of drug and alcohol, with the women at POWER and the late Bernadette Tuner at Addison Behavioral Health, she served as a mental health professional to clients whose needs would have otherwise gone unmet.
In 2012, Mrs. Upshaw-Givner became owner and lead clinician of Vision Towards Peace. Mrs. Upshaw-Givner is a strong advocate for an overall generational wellness, she maintains her community commitment with warm mental wellness handoffs for the Greater Pittsburgh Re-Employment Transition Centers including, Wilkinsburg, McKeesport, and downtown and local family health practices to address the connection between physical and mental health. Vision Towards Peace works closely with Pretrial Services Supervision Unit providing free and reduced price mental health evaluations and drug and alcohol assessments. Spring of 2014, Mrs. Upshaw-Givner was invited to join Greater Pittsburgh Business and Professional Women's Club.
She is an active board member of the Pittsburgh African American Leadership Association and won the 2013 Blazing Leader Award. Mrs. Upshaw-Givner is an executive member of the Association of Black Social Workers in addition to the National Association of Social Workers. September 2014 marked a new endeavor for Vision Towards Peace sponsoring and hosting its first annual Passion Meets the Road Awards. Vision Towards Peace has been recognized with a City of Pittsburgh Proclamation of Recognition. She goes on to accept the nomination for this year’s Women of Excellence Award.
Mrs. Jones is a licensed Clinical Social worker for the state of Pennsylvania and is a full time faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh. She is the founder and president of Freedom Indeed LLC, a company that focuses on empowering ex-offenders, promoting positive mental health/healthy living through groups and individual therapy. She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University of PA and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been addressing the needs of children and families impacted by violence and crime for the past seventeen years. She provides crisis intervention, counseling and community education programs that address the causes and impacts of all categories of violence and crime. Toya also conducts individual, family therapy and groups for those who have been directly and indirectly affected by violence. She has experience and training in counselor-legal advocacy, crisis management, conflict resolution and mediation; working with both victims of juvenile crime and the adult criminal justice system. Toya has extensive experience with facilitating groups as well as trainings for ex-offenders, survivors of crime, professionals, clinicians and students. Some of her training experiences include topics such as: the impact of trauma on children and adults, teen violence, signs and symptoms of PTSD, treatment modalities (such as TF-CBT, expressive and play therapies) for children and adults impacted by trauma and overcoming unresolved trauma, for local universities, schools, communities, religious organizations and private corporations. She is happily married to Rev. Cornell Jones and has two children; Cornell Jones age 10 and Naomi Jones age 6.
Let us work to combat the stigma surrounding mental health and eliminate the idea of therapy being taboo. As a clinician working in the mental health field, it appears therapeutic services are not utilized as frequency as they should be. My approach is to provide client centered services in a safe environment and cater to the holistic needs of an individual. Together, we can embark on a journey toward stability and redefine the meaning of healthy living.
Kiera Mallett is a Chicago Native who found her way to Pittsburgh through The University of Pittsburgh Master of Social Work Program; in which she graduated in 2015 with a focus in Mental Health Awareness and advocacy. Ms. Mallett is a strength based therapist who has a passion for assisting others in their journey to overall health and wellness. In addition, to focusing on mental health Ms. Mallett has been a trail blazing advocate for the young adult population and connecting them to resources. Ms. Mallett believes that with God and therapy anyone can come through their darkness.
Better meeting the needs of VTP's clients is always important, ensuring wellness and support. Although pursuing my own growth and wellness, I am never too far away and will always be a part of the Vision Towards Peace family.
Born and raised in the Hill District. I have 9 ½ grandchildren between my 3 wonderful daughters. I have been a military wife for 4 years. I belong to Mt. Ararat Baptist Church and worked for the Pittsburgh Public Schools for 13 years before I got sick. I also worked at Sojourner House, Whale’s Tales, Strength Inc., and First Step Recovery House; I have an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a certificate in Drug and Alcohol, and a certificate in Intervention on Families. I have invested 23.9 years into my personal recovery. I love to dance, sing and skate.